Independent Shakespeare Co. Presents ISC's IAMBIC LAB

Independent Shakespeare Co. (ISC), presenters of the Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival announce a month long series of unique events and workshops to celebrate the art of theater making. ISC's iambic lab begins on Saturday, January 28, with a reading of a new version by Charles Edward Pogue of Henrik Ibsen's THE PRETENDERS, and will end on Saturday, February 25 with a preview of ISC's upcoming West Coast premiere production of Sharr White's THE SNOW GEESE. All events are at Independent Studio in the Atwater Crossing Arts + Innovation Complex, 3191 Casitas Ave., #168 in Atwater Village.
From classes to readings to conversations with playwrights, ISC's iambic lab is an inspiring and thought-provoking series.
In this new version by award-winning playwright Charles Edward Pogue, Henrik Ibsen's THE PRETENDERS is Shakespearean in scope. This historical chronicle about the quest for the throne in medieval Norway has rarely been performed in English. Pogue has adapted Ibsen's epic into a swift-paced version that captures both the poetic imagination and psychological intensity of the original. The Pretenders explores the nature of power and personal ambition, the obligation of leadership, and the search for national unity.
An evening of THE SNOW GEESE is a preview of the upcoming West Coast premiere of Sharr White's extraordinary play. In an informal atmosphere with drinks and light snacks, scenes will be previewed and the audience will meet the cast and the artistic team, see the design, and have the opportunity to ask questions.
The participatory events of ISC's iambic lab include: SPEAK THE SPEECH (and Sip Cocktails) with ISC Co-Founder David Melville on Saturday, February 4. In a convivial atmosphere, Melville takes you though the history of English verse speaking, Chaucer through Shakespeare. It's a fascinating evening full of anecdotes and acting. OPEN STUDIO: SHAKESPEARE SCENE STUDY with ISC Artistic Director Melissa Chalsma takes place on Sunday, February 5 and is an evening to explore Shakespearean acting in the ISC style. Chalsma, assisted by actors from the company, will lead a series of exercises on specific scenes. This is open to all experience levels, and space is very limited.
ISC's iambic lab will also feature an evening delving into the creative process with ISC Company Members Kalean Ung (Ariel in The Tempest, Margaret in Richard III, Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream) and Faqir Hassan (Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream) who are each in the process of creating one-person pieces.
Comments Artistic Director Melissa Chalsma, "All of us at ISC are really grateful that we have such a close relationship with our audience, and we want them to feel welcome at all points in the process of making theater! ISC's iambic lab is a time when writers can explore new works, and audiences can share that exploration. We also want to share with them the way we approach theater-so we're offering classes and opportunities to interact with to writers and other members of our artistic team. For us, it's a celebration not just of theater making, but of our relationship with our audience."
CHARLES EDWARD POGUE (Playwright, new version of Henrik Ibsen's The Pretenders) Screenwriter Charles Edward Pogue began his career with a pair of scary classics, PSYCHO III and THE FLY. Both THE FLY and his fantasy swashbuckler, DRAGONHEART, starring Sean Connery as the voice of Draco won Best Picture Awards from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror. Mr. Pogue's novel of DRAGONHEART has been published worldwide. He has also written DOA starring Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan, KULL THE CONQUEROR, the mini-series HERCULES for Hallmark and NBC, and three Sherlock Holmes films. THE SIGN OF FOUR and HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES featured Ian Richardson as the master sleuth. Mr. Pogue has also adapted Sherlock Holmes to the stage with his play, THE EBONY APE. His prize-winning comedy, WHODUNNIT, DARLING?, was written with Emmy-winning actor Larry Drake. He spent many years as a stage actor, performing lead roles in such plays as HAY FEVER, CYRANO DE BERGERAC, DUCHESS OF MALFI, THE RAINMAKER, ANGEL STREET and THE CRUCIFER OF BLOOD (a Sherlock Holmes play) which starred Charlton Heston and Jeremy Brett as Holmes and Watson. Recent work includes film scripts of two Rider Haggard novels, SHE and THE WORLD'S DESIRE, and his new version of Feydeau's farce, A FLEA IN HER EAR, premiered at Centre Stage in Greenville, SC.
Sharr White (Playwright, The Snow Geese) Plays by Sharr White have been developed or produced at theatres across the country and Europe, including Manhattan Theatre Club, MCC Theatre, Nationaltheater Mannheim, Melbourne Theatre Company, The Magic Theatre, South Coast Repertory, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and more. White's The Other Placereceived its world premiere Off-Broadway with MCC Theatre, featuring Laurie Metcalf (Lucille Lortel and Obie awards) and directed by Joe Mantello (Lucille Lortel nom). The Other Place subsequently received its Broadway premiere at Manhattan Theatre Club with Joe Mantello again directing Laurie Metcalf (Tony nom). The Other Place was also a recipient of the 2010 Playwrights First Award; the 20011 Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation's Theatre Visions Fund Award; and was an Outer Critics Circle Award nominee for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play. White's Annapurna premiered at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco and was a finalist for the Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award. The Los Angeles premiere of Annapurna was directed at the Odyssey Theatre by Bart DeLorenzo, and starred Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman-a production that The New Group moved Off-Broadway in the spring of 2014. White's The Snow Geese premiered on Broadway at the Samuel J. Friedman theatre in October 2013, starring Mary Louise Parker, Victoria Clark and Danny Burstein, and directed by Daniel Sullivan, as a co-production between Manhattan Theatre Club and MCC Theatre.
All events take place at Independent Studio. Space is limited, reservations recommended.
3191 Casitas Ave., #168 (between Fletcher Drive and Glendale Blvd.) at the Atwater Crossing Arts + Innovation Complex, Los Angeles, CA 90039.
Free, ample lot and street parking.
Saturday, January 28 at 7:30pm
Play Reading: The Pretenders
By Henrik Ibsen, in a new version by Charles Edward Pogue
Directed by Joseph Culliton
Saturday, February 4 at 7pm
Speak the Speech (and Sip Cocktails) with David Melville
Sunday, February 5 at 2pm-5pm
Open Studio: Shakespearean scene study with Melissa Chalsma
Saturday, February 11 at 7:30pm
Works in Progress with Kalean Ung & Faqir Hassan
Saturday, February 25 at 6:30pm
Preview scenes and meet the cast of The Snow Geese, by Sharr White
All events are pay what you can, to support the creation of new works of theater.
For information and reservations, please call (818) 710-6306 or go online at

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